18 Jun

Survey of Scotland’s smallholdings and smallholders

There are a lot of smallholdings in Scotland.

Information on Scotland’s smallholdings and smallholders is pretty sparse. It is mainly based on the Scottish Government’s Annual Agricultural Census, but that only goes routinely to those who submit a Single Application Form plus a proportion of other registered holdings.

Smallholding Scotland would like to improve both the quality and breadth of information available and is in discussion with SRUC, ScotGov and the Royal Society of Statisticians to develop a comprehesive survey, the results of which will guide the future work of the organisation.

We hope that the survey work will be complete by the end of 2018. Further details will be made available in due course.

 

18 Jun

Prince’s Countryside Fund bid – information hub

As active smallholders, the Trustees of Smallholding Scotland know first hand how challenging it can be to find accurate, reputable and unbiased information. It’s hard if you know what you don’t know; if you don’t know what you don’t know, it’s impossible.

At its establishment last year, the Trustees identified the development of a comprehensive, web-based information hub for smallholders and aspiring smallholders as a priority for the organisation.

Last week, a bid for £50,000 was submitted to the Prince’s Countryside Fund to build and populate such a hub. If we are successful, we will be commissioning the building of the website and knowledge hub plus employing a contractor to take on the project of collating, commisssioning, editing and curating content.

Needless to say, we have our fingers and toes crossed.

28 May

Soil Association Scotland upcoming events

Soil, Slugs and Metal: Optimising the Relationship, South Redbog Farm, Strichen, Fraserburgh, Thursday 7th June, 10.30am-3pm. Hosted by the Chapman family, we will explore the relationship between cultivations and soil performance and look at how we can optimise performance of our ‘metal’ to get the most out of our soil. Call Sarah on 07800 841 822 or email for more information. Funding is provided through SRDP Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (which is jointly funded by the Scottish Government and the European Union) with partner funding from Scottish Water and RSPB Scotland. (This event is part of a wider KTIF programme, Farming With Nature.)

 

 

Woodland: Making it Work for You, Exploring forestry opportunities on farm, Kilrie Farm, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Thursday 14th June 12.30pm – 4.30pm

Run in partnership with Central Scotland Green Network Trust

A practical on-farm afternoon event looking at the benefits of woodland creation, managing established woodlands and funding and finance. Includes a tour of new and established woodland sites and a woodland management machinery demonstration.

Hosted by John Drysdale, Kilrie Farm, who will be speaking. Other speakers are from Forestry Commission Scotland, Central Scotland Green Network Trust, SAC Consulting and Clydesdale Bank. Come along to hear and discuss what trees can do for your business. Free to farmers, foresters and land managers. Lunch will be provided. Book online, call Jane on 0131 666 2474, or email. Funding for this activity is made available through the SRDP Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (which is jointly funded by the Scottish Government and the European Union), with partner funding from Quality Meat Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, Innovative Farmers and The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation.

 

 

Field Lab: All Over Clover Tuesday 12th June, 12.30-3pm, Mossgiel Farm, Ayrshire
Exploring grass seed mixes and grazing systems for dairy. At the first Field Lab meeting in February we discussed the challenges of establishing herbal leys without carrying out a full reseed, and came up with some options. Farmer Bryce Cunningham has developed a Field Lab plan – come and hear more. There will also be a visit to one of his fields. Book online. Funding for this activity is made available through the SRDP Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (which is jointly funded by the Scottish Government and the European Union), with partner funding from Quality Meat Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, Innovative Farmers and The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation

 

Mob grazing gives you more. A practical introduction for livestock & arable farmers, Tuesday 26th June, The Bothy, Comielaw Farm, Pittenweem, Fife, 10am-3.30pm

What is it? Why would you do it? How do you do it? Assessing practical benefits and performance on the ground.  Come along to hear and discuss what mob grazing could do for your business. Includes visit to Balcaskie Estate. Speakers: Tom Chapman, Farmer and mob grazing specialist and Sam Parsons, Estate Manager. Free to farmers and land managers. Lunch will be provided. Book online, call Lyn on 07899 791 748, or email. Funding for this activity is made available through the SRDP Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (which is jointly funded by the Scottish Government and the European Union), with partner funding from Quality Meat Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, Innovative Farmers and The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation.

 

Future Farming Conference: Common problems, new solutions, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Dundee, Thursday 12th July 10am-4pm

Farming is full of challenges and opportunities. Some are age old, such as how to optimise productivity and get maximum profit from your land and livestock. Others seem to be getting worse, like the weather and its knock-on effects. Join us for a practical day hearing and discussing how farmers are making changes to their business to meet these challenges, including: Graeme Bethune, Ballachly Farm, Caithness, on rush control; Rory Christie, Dourie Farming, Newton Stewart, on harnessing dairy genetics; Jim Simmons, Ruthven Farm, Glenlivet on woodland creation and Duncan McEwan, Arnprior Farm, Stirling, on grassland management. In the afternoon you can visit one of our kind hosts, the Kearneys of Lundie Farming, to see their extensive grass-based, block calving dairy farm, accompanied by James Bretherton of Agscope. Or come to James Hutton Institute’s Balruddery Farm, to discover the latest developments in research including field margins, green manures and crop trials. Free to farmers, crofters, foresters and land managers. Lunch will be provided. Book online, call Jane on 0131 666 2474, or email. Funding for this activity is made available through the SRDP Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (which is jointly funded by the Scottish Government and the European Union), with partner funding from Quality Meat Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, Innovative Farmers and The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation.

 

Save the date

Woodland: Making it Work for You: Creation, management and funding, Saturday 21st July, 12.30pm – 4.15pm at Achaphubuil, Fort William

A practical walk and talk afternoon event exploring the benefits of woodland creation, management and funding opportunities. For more information contact Lyn on 07899 791 748 or email. Funding for this activity is made available through the SRDP Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (which is jointly funded by the Scottish Government and the European Union), with partner funding from Quality Meat Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, Innovative Farmers and The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation.

 

Pollinator Demo Farm, Monday 23rd July: Inverurie, Aberdeenshire.

Call Sarah on 07800 841 822 or email for more information. Funding is provided through SRDP Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (which is jointly funded by the Scottish Government and the European Union) with partner funding from Scottish Water and RSPB Scotland.

Buzzing about Grassland, Thursday 26th July, Greenock, Inverkip Community Hub
Species rich grassland meadows are an important part of our farming landscape; providing habitats for birds, pollinators, and areas of nutritionally low fodder to manage sheep condition on. How can we better utilise these areas within our farming systems and what revenue is available for managing these areas through AECS? How can we profit from these native pastures? Speakers include: Rob Havard (farmer, and Natural England). This event is open to all, and free to attend, however places are strictly limited and will be given on a first come first served basis. Lunch is also included. The event will include a trip to Ardgowan Estate. If you’re a farmer, crofter or land manager, book your free place now: it’s open to all but we’re expecting this session to fill up quickly, and booking is absolutely essential. Click on the Register button, or if you prefer you can call Sarah on 07800 841 822, or email smillar@soilassociation.org. Funding is provided through SRDP Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (which is jointly funded by the Scottish Government and the European Union) with partner funding from Scottish Water and RSPB Scotland. (This event is part of a wider KTIF programme, Farming With Nature.)

 

 

Buzzing About Grassland: Profiting from Native Pasture Friday27th July, Grant Arms Hotel Grantown-on-Spey

Species rich grassland meadows are an important part of our farming landscape; providing habitats for birds, pollinators, and areas of nutritionally low fodder to manage sheep condition on. How can we better utilise these areas within our farming systems and what revenue is available for managing these areas through AECS? How can we profit from these native pastures? Speakers include: Rob Havard (farmer, and Natural England). This event is open to all, and free to attend, however places are strictly limited and will be given on a first come first served basis. We will start at the Grant Arms hotel, 25 The Square, Grantown-on-Spey PH26 3HF. Lunch is also included. The event will include a visit to Lynbreck Croft. If you’re a farmer, crofter or land manager, book your free place now: it’s open to all but we’re expecting this session to fill up quickly, and booking is absolutely essential. Click on the Register button, or if you prefer you can call Sarah on 07800 841 822, or email smillar@soilassociation.org. Funding is provided through SRDP Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (which is jointly funded by the Scottish Government and the European Union) with partner funding from Scottish Water and RSPB Scotland. (This event is part of a wider KTIF programme, Farming With Nature.)

Save the date

Worming Your Way to Profit, Tuesday 7th August, Forgandenny, Perthshire.

Call Sarah on 07800 841 822 or email for more information. Funding is provided through SRDP Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (which is jointly funded by the Scottish Government and the European Union) with partner funding from Scottish

 

18 May

Consultation on reform of limited partnerships law

The UK Government is consulting on the reform of the law governing limited partnerships. If you wish to comment, follow the link.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/limited-partnerships-reform-of-limited-partnership-law

Lisa Davis Head of Regional Delivery and Registrar of Scotland of Companies House, along with some of her team will be going to the Royal Highland Show on Thursday and Friday. They will have some time in the Scottish Government Pavilion. To discuss any issues please email her at    ldavis@companieshouse.gov.uk